CSI:Cyber Season 2 Episode 8 thoughts

Episode 8 “Python” is my favorite episode of this season. It has all the things I have been asking for in my posts. They have alluded to the hacker Python in previous episodes. He is number one on their list and in this episode we see why. Finally we get an episode where the hacker is not caught at the end. It creates an adversary who spans multiple episodes. CSI New York had it with character Henry Darius and CSI Miami had characters who spanned multiple episodes. Finally an episode with a sophisticated, calculating hacker who doesn’t leave behind silly mistakes.

The episode starts off when Avery gets a call from a former friend and co-worker Agent Rupert Flemming. However all she can hear are his screams as Python uses a heavy duty drill on him. Python delivers a message to Avery, “Stop chasing me or more agents will die” then he shoots Agent Flemming. Avery connects with an Interpol agent who is Agent Flemming’s current partner before his death. The team sets off trying to figure out why Python killed Flemming. Raven and Daniel figure out that Python has been taping into Interpol’s fiber optic cabling and syphoning their data. They find evidence that someone might have Python’s real name and was planning to meet up with Flemming. Python knew because of his tap and intercepted Flemming. DB and Daniel also work on the guns that Python uses in his murders. He files off the serial numbers but DB uses a method to get partials of the serial numbers. It doesn’t lead them anymore though because the guns are all registered to shelf babies created by Python. Using the information in Flemming’s emails the team searches for a hacker named “Darko” on the Deep Web. They believe he is the one that was supposed to meet with Flemming. They intercept information on a deal Darko arranged and head to the docks. They want to get Darko and hopefully Python who they know must also be monitoring Darko. But Darko is killed by a computer controlled sniper rifle. Darko dies but tells Avery that Python’s name is in his laptop.

Daniel and Brody search the data on the laptop but can’t find Python’s name. Then they figure out it’s not in the data on the laptop but in the laptop itself. They find a chip inside with a name, the source code for Python’s drug website obviously modeled after Silk Road and a text file. The name on the chip is another shelf baby created by Python. The source code for the website is a very early version. They open the text file and realize that it is a journal that was written by a very young Python. DB and Raven in the meantime figure out that the names of the shelf babies are all from books. They match all the names except one which Avery thinks must be an actual person from Python’s past. They search the journal and then using the information head out to the person’s home. The person is Python’s mother. She tells them that Python has been missing since he was like 12 or 14. The only picture she has left of him is the one on the milk carton. Avery notices a brand new computer which the mom says she won in a raffle. Every year the old model computer is replaced with a new one. The computer is obviously sent from Python so Avery looks into the camera and says call me. She gets a call from Pyton who is pissed off that the agents are in his mother’s home. Avery taunts him and when he lets it slip that he will have the site running again. The team figures out that the site must be hosted on a server running in the house. They find a blade server hidden in the chassis of an old beige box. Python starts wiping it remotely though and in the panic when Daniel doesn’t know what to do Avery pulls the power plug. The team heads back to CTOC where Raven hands Avery a rendering of what they think Python should look like. Avery heads to her office and then calls DB who rushes over and finger prints her computer. They find Python’s hand print, he was in her office!

This episode was amazing, I loved it. It was exciting to watch the team go up against a real adversary that tested their skills. I love it for all the reasons I’ve already stated and I can’t wait to see how this storyline is going to play out. There were two things that really bothered me though. They were actually really big sticking points but the episode was so good I still enjoyed it. There was one scene where the Interpol agent working with the team talks to one of Mundo’s informants in french. It was super annoying that there were no subtitles. Unless the viewer speaks french we are lost to what is being said which then loses it’s effectiveness. The next big sticking point is when Avery pulls the power plug. This has been done so many times from NCIS to hollywood movies involving tech/hacking. I get it that it’s funny when the lay person solves the problem while the tech nerds try desperately to think of a solution. However why not just have the expert pull the plug? Plus since the computer is being remotely accessed also pull the ethernet cable to disconnect it from the internet? I get that it’s not as sexy but it’s also not as overused and eye roll inducing. If the tech is that super smart I’m pretty sure they would have found a way.  Also while I was reading through some stuff I came across this site. I think it would be useful for the writers of shows and movies to get familiar with the mistakes that are often made. Trying to have a more realistic portrayal can go a long way even if it’s still made a little “hollywood” for audiences.